Black & Veatch Corporation

Black & Veatch-designed water treatment facility earns two APWA awards for Chicago metro area


Source: Black & Veatch Corporation

The Black & Veatch-designed Geneva Water Treatment Facility was named a 2009 Project of the Year Award winner and a Public Works Project Excellence Award winner by the Chicago Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA).

The Public Works Project Excellence Award is given to one Project of the Year Award recipient that “defines excellence and the advancement of the profession by the following criteria: greatest impact on the future of public works; best innovative application of an existing or new technology; on time, safe completion; and best example of advancing the field of public works.”

“This project represents a true partnership between Black & Veatch and the city,” said Mayor Kevin Burns of Geneva, Ill. “The new water treatment facility reliably produces high-quality water that meets all regulatory requirements. In addition, our citizens are pleased with the reduced water hardness that has virtually eliminated the need for household water softeners.”

The Geneva Water Treatment facility replaced an existing water system that included only iron removal for its shallow wells and direct use of its deep wells without softening. When new regulations made it necessary to mitigate elevated levels of radium in the local deep aquifers, the city seized the opportunity to build a new treatment facility that not only removed radium, but also provided softened water for the community of approximately 19,000 people.

“Our success is measured by our ability to positively impact the communities where we live and work,” said Dave Hunt, Senior Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s Water Americas Central Region. “For this project, we worked closely with Geneva’s city officials and staff to build a state-of-the-art water treatment facility that not only meets regulatory requirements, but improves water quality and reduces hardness. In addition, we were able to create an area landmark of which the community can be proud.”

The new 8 million gallons-per-day treatment facility’s design incorporates sustainable solutions, advanced treatment processes including membrane filtration and a high degree of automation. To blend the new treatment plant in with its surroundings, the facility was designed to look like a large agricultural barn and is located on a 40-acre park-like site surrounded by wetlands, open space and a bike trail.

The city followed sustainable practices by choosing conjunctive use of the aquifers to minimize the impact on the area’s water resources. In addition, Black & Veatch designed an elevated aerator to allow gravity flow of the filtered water to the finished-water reservoir, which eliminated the need for a transfer pumping station. The aerator is hidden in the top of a 55-foot-tall silo, which complements the barn. The creative use of space and plant hydraulics greatly reduced life-cycle costs for the city.

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